Ecommerce hit 19% Global Penetration in 2020, report finds

May 05, 2021 | 2 minutes read

A worldwide increase of e-commerce penetration to 19% in 2020 from 16% in 2019 has been reported recently by a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTD) report.

It is stated that this rise occurred due to a boost in online sales that were driven by the ongoing pandemic. Stats show that in 2020, ecommerce sales; both B2B and B2C, rose to $26.7 trillion globally – up by 4%, comprising 30% of global GDP. 

Meanwhile, retail sales experienced a 1% decrease to $13 trillion, from $13.1 trillion because of the Covid-19 pandemic.B2C ecommerce alone rose from $2 trillion to $2.5 trillion in 2020 – up by 22%, as per the findings of the report.

Collectively, in 2019, the 13 nations surveyed constituted 65% of total global B2C ecommerce sales. The global share of ecommerce sales rose to 16% in 2019 from 14% in 2018.

The Republic of Korea saw the greatest ecommerce sales growth

According to the report, among the nations surveyed, the Republic of Korea accounted for the highest rise in share of ecommerce sales, moving up to 25.9% in 2020 from 20.8%. Whereas, in the United States; the penetration rate rose to 14% from 11% in 2020.

Other countries that contributed towards the rise in ecommerce penetration included the United Kingdom (15.8% to 23.3%), China (20.7% to 24.9%), Australia (6.3% to 9.4%), Singapore (5.9% to 11.7%) and Canada (3.6% to 6.2%).

According to Shamika Sirimanne, UNCTAD’s director of technology and logistics “These statistics show the growing importance of online activities. They also point to the need for countries, especially developing ones, to have such information as they rebuild their economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Moreover, financial reports of leading ecommerce companies showed that Shopify rose by four positions, in 2020 – bouncing from 9th position to 5th position. at $120 billion in GMV,  almost multiplied 2x from $61 billion the prior year. Business for Shopify has boosted immensely following the rise in ecommerce, since mid market companies were forced online.